Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Few Definitions

Since I'm going to be using certain terms a lot, I'll define them here. It's always a good idea to define the important terms beforehand for the sake of clarity, and so one can refer back to them in the future.
  • God – a powerful, supernatural, non-physical entity; often seen as intelligent and a creator of some or all aspects of the universe; people may believe in zero, one, or multiple such beings
  • Christian God – an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, unchanging, eternal, personal, triune creator of the universe; consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • Theism – belief in a god or gods
  • Atheism – lack of belief in a god or gods (not necessarily a positive statement that "gods do not exist")
  • Agnosticism – belief that the existence of god can't be definitively proved or disproved
  • Deism – belief in a god that does not interact with the universe
It's worth noting, however, that when I say "God" on this blog, I'll often be referring specifically to the Christian God. Also, since I'll be discussing evolution and creationism here, I'll define some of the terms related to those subjects.
  • Evolution – the descent of all life from a universal common ancestor via gradual modification
  • Natural selection – the primary mechanism by which evolution functions; those individuals who are better adapted to their environments survive and produce offspring
  • Creationism – belief that all life on earth was created by God in more or less its present form
  • Intelligent design (ID) – a form of creationism that attempts to be less overtly religious by positing a generic "designer" rather than God
  • Young earth creationism (YEC) – belief that life on earth was created by God less than 10,000 (usually about 6,000) years ago
  • Old earth creationism (OEC) – belief that life on earth was created by God, but that the earth is old; encompasses a variety of unique worldviews
  • Theistic evolution (TE) – belief that God used evolution to form all life on earth today
The last three form a spectrum from more to less ignorant of science. However, I should mention that there's also a smaller group that additionally believes in geocentrism, and a very tiny one that also believes in a flat earth – both based on their interpretations of the Bible.

No comments:

Post a Comment